After I got married one month after finishing college, I knew that I had to make some changes. For me it was one thing to have credit card debt when I was a single college student, but as a recent college graduate and just married I knew that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life living pay check to pay check and with he heavy burden of debt. By the time I graduated from college, I had over $8,000 in credit card debt. To make matters worse, finding a job proved to be more challenging than I thought and I ended up just making a couple of dollars over minimum wage at my first post-college job.
My wife and I quickly started to apply all of our extra money to getting out of debt and saving money. Even when we received $2.00 rebates in the mail, we applied it to either savings or paying off debt. It took us about two years to pay off the credit card debt. Now, eight years later, we still have no credit card debt, both of our cars are paid off (and we don't intend of financing another vehicle again), and our emergency fund is at 65% of my annual gross income. 30% of our take home pay now goes towards our savings.
We usually don't buy the latest tech trends like our peers do, but we also don't lie awake worrying about money. That's not to say that there isn't some balance to our lives. We do go out for entertainment and buy the material things that are most important to us, but we do this thoughtfully.
What people should know is that we aren't what I would consider high income earners, however, I believe we have more financial freedom and peace about our finances than a lot of high income earners have. This just shows you that more money doesn't necessarily bring you financial freedom. Discipline as well as a balanced attitude about money and things do though.
"I figure you have the same chance of winning the lottery whether you play or not."
Don't be passive about your finances: http://thefinancialreader.com